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Enslaved - Caravans to the Outer Worlds CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.33 | 10 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars Over the years Enslaved have become known for releasing EPs that contain material not on an album, and 'Caravans' is another example in that while it was released only a year after their fifteenth album, 'Utgart', these four tracks are all new. They have also continued to move their sound, so they are now far removed from the black metal sound of their early material and instead are embracing so many different elements that the only way to describe them is as progressive metal, although this is in its truest sense as opposed to sticking to any particular genre. I have enjoyed many of their albums over the years, but these four songs feel like the band are somewhat going through the motions and creating atmosphere but without much substance behind them.

They throw lots of ideas into the pot, blasting into tech blackened death metal here, acoustic there, some chanting vocals yonder, but to my ears there is no cogent or interwoven structure. The keyboards just don't sound right at some points, while the clean vocals are not as powerful as they could be and detract from the gruffness of Grutle Kjellson. I don't know who produced this, but it has all the hallmarks of self-production as this should have been chopped and external guidance provided as this just does not work for me. I know there are a load of fans out there who have been reviewing this with high marks, but it is just too muddy and confused for me to follow that path.

kev rowland | 3/5 |


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